A Tribute to Henry Koffler

Nov. 14, 2018

UA to Host Tribute to President Emeritus Henry Koffler

  • What: A Tribute to the Life of Dr. Henry Koffler: The First Alumnus President of the University of Arizona
  • When: Monday, Nov. 19, 3-5 p.m.
  • Where: Crowder Hall, Fred Fox School of Music, 1017 N. Olive Rd.
TUCSON, Ariz. — The UA is hosting a tribute to the life of President Emeritus Henry Koffler on Monday, Nov. 19, from 3-5 p.m. at Crowder Hall.

Koffler, who led the UA as president from 1982 to 1991 and oversaw its ascension to the top ranks of major research universities, died March 10. He was 95. Koffler is survived by Phyllis (Pierson) Koffler, his wife of more than 71 years.

Koffler was the first and only UA alumnus thus far to serve as president. During his tenure, the UA grew dramatically, increasing enrollment by 16 percent, hiring 700 additional faculty and staff, adding 24 new buildings and growing external research funding from $60 million to $192 million. 

Under Koffler, the UA was elected to membership in the Association of American Universities in 1985. Koffler also is recognized for his contributions to expanding the general education and honors programs, implementing the first online student information system and investing in central computing capacity, facilitating collaborations with community colleges, and championing efforts to improve the enrollment rates and graduation rates of underserved students.

"I am so grateful that I was able to spend some time with President Koffler and learn from him as I joined the UA community," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "He was a superior intellect and a very sweet and caring man. We had the same physician, and I saw him often and greatly enjoyed our conversations and his handwritten letters. I tell people everywhere that we must instill a love of lifelong learning in our students, and I can think of no better example than the way President Koffler pursued new ideas and forms of engagement through his entire life. His pilates regimen was impressive and his artwork is incredible, with an exhibit on display right now at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. He did amazing things for the University, and he's a great inspiration for all of us. I know he will be fondly remembered by the Wildcat family for years to come."

More information:

Chris Sigurdson
University of Arizona
Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state's super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $622 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.